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Pulling a cable through the ceiling

How to make a wire puller with magnets
Author: Stephan Müller, Glauburg, Germany
Online since: 12/04/2022, Number of visits: 84486
On one of my jobs, I had to lay a new electric cable through a reed ceiling. I was faced with the problem of pulling the cable through the ceiling in the easiest way possible and with the least amount of damage. My solution: A homemade wire puller with two super magnets. With the help of these two magnets, I was able to pull the power cable through the false ceiling without any problems. You can find out how I did it in this customer project.
I used these materials to pull the cable through the dropped ceiling:
  • Tearproof string
  • Duct tape
  • Neodymium block magnet, type Q-51-51-25-N
  • Neodymium sphere magnet, type K-30-C

I chose these two neodymium magnets because both magnets still have a very strong attractive force towards each other even at a distance of 5–6 cm. The ceiling through which the cable was to be pulled had a thickness of approx. 3–4 cm. So the magnets I selected were perfect for the job.
The ceiling was an old reed ceiling. In this type of ceiling, a reed mat was used in addition to the regular materials. This made the surface of the hollow space uneven, which is why I chose a round magnet to pull the string through. Round magnets move better over bumpy surfaces. (Even better would be an oval magnet or an oval housing for the magnet.)

How do I pull a cable through the ceiling?

Step 1
I wrapped the sphere magnet with duct tape to attach the string.

Step 2
I pre-drilled the holes in the wall and then carefully chiselled them out.

Step 3
I placed the sphere magnet with the string inside the dropped ceiling. With the large block magnet on the outside, I was now able to easily pull it along the ceiling.

Important tip: First, find out where the joists are by tapping on the false ceiling. The ceiling panels are screw-fastened in a few places. These spots can be identified in advance by simply following the path with the block magnet.
Viewed from above, I followed a zigzag pattern inside the dropped ceiling. This made it easier for me to pull the sphere magnet over the uneven surface of the ceiling. I bypassed the magnetic spot (obstacle) before I came out again at the desired location.
Step 4
Lastly, I also used duct tape to attach my electric cable to the string and then carefully pulled it through the reed ceiling. The opening can now be spackled or concealed with a visually appealing cover (e.g. flush-mounted boxes, cover for cable feedthrough, wall outlet box for cable feedthrough, cable outlet, etc.)
Cable pull-through made easy: I was very satisfied with the result of my wire puller for the dropped ceiling. I had previously ordered magnets online twice for this project, none of which were any good. I was really worried because the magnet solution was my only hope. But with these two super magnets, it worked perfectly.
Note from the supermagnete team: This method is also suitable for simple cable installation in places that are difficult to access. You can find tips in our customer project Cable-laying.

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